Title

Havens Letter: September 22 1864

Back

Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: September 22, 1864
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 26
Language: English
Rights Management: Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by Michigan State University and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.
Contributing Institution: Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections
Relation: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 26
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: September 22 1864 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: September 22 1864
Havens Letter: September 22 1864

Near Winchester Va
September 22nd 1864

Dear Father
I now take my pen to scratch off
a few lines to let you Know how things are shap
ing themselves at the present time. I wrote Nell
on Sunday from Pleasant Valley and did not
then think we should so soon get so far up the
valley as this. But it would seem that when Gen
Grant came up here last week he kicked up
a [muss?] which has completely outdone Early and
compelled him to hunt a track up the valley
Early on Monday morning we heard heavey can
nonading which continued all day but we
heard no reports from the front until noon of Tuesday
when we received orders to prepare out train to move
at once to this place. We left Bolivar Highths about
one Oclock that night and reached here last night
about dark. The result of the battle so far as I can
learn is the capture of five pieces of artillery and
four thousand prisoners besides a vast number of
Havens Letter: September 22 1864 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: September 22 1864
Havens Letter: September 22 1864

wounded. and seven battle flags. We also killed one
Major Gen. and wounded two others besides several
officers of lesser rank. Our loss was also heavy.
Principally in wounded. the Killed being few in
proportion. Every house almost is filled with wound
ed. either rebel or Union. Among the wounded are
Lt Col Brewer of our regt and several officers of the
brigade. Col. Berwer is dangerously wounded. and was
at first reported dead.. He is shot directly through the
head just back of the eyes.. The Surgeon has strong hopes
of his recovery with the proper care. Several officers
of the brigade were Killed and several wounded.
A Sergeant of our Co. was wounded by a piece of
shell and died on Tuesday. He was. the only sergt
belonging to the company. who still remained on
duty in it. Two privates of the company also received
wounds although not dangerous ones..
This was. I suppose the worst fight our boys
have had. Early had splendid positions and strong
forces to hold them and our division fought artillery
and infantry all day. Those I have seen say it
was one continual charge all day long. At the time
Col. Brewer and so many others were wounded the whole
division charged upon a battery and found a large
Havens Letter: September 22 1864 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: September 22 1864
Havens Letter: September 22 1864

force of infantry supporting it and in charging
the solid squares of infantry they were terribly cut up
but succeeded in taking the battery and a great
many prisoners from the infantry.. The wounded
in the hospitals will tell you that they “hit us”
but “we whipped them..” We have just sent out forage
and rations to the command which is about fifteen
miles from here.. They were fighting hard yesterday
and a large number of prisoners and some flags
came in last night.. The victory seems to be com
plete and cheering. and if Meade and Grant have
only been at work and been successful too we
shall feel much better than we have. We brought
all the supplies our train was capable of bringing
and I think will be able to remain here three or
four days. We shall probably make Martinsburg
our base of supplies now. and leave Harpers
Ferry. Martinsburg is said to be twenty-two miles
distant by some. by others. eighteen. Harpers Ferry
thirty. We passed over some of the most beautiful
country yesterday that I ever saw in any state and
some as disagreeable. As to Winchester I can
say but little about it as yet. as we passed thru
but a small part of it last night I noticed some
Havens Letter: September 22 1864 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: September 22 1864
Havens Letter: September 22 1864

buildings there however that were good
enough for any town and those who have been
here before speak very highly in praise of the town
and its people. The people are decidedly secesh and
are not ashamed to be called so either although
I presume if you should call any of them Copper
heads they would feel insulted.
As this will not reach you for several days
after the one I wrote on Sunday you may feel some
what anxious to know how I am getting along since
I told Nell I was sick so I will tell you how I
feel. I feel better this morning than I have before
for several days. I rode on a wagon yesterday and
night before. because I did not feel able to ride a
horse. the first time I have ever marched other
than on horseback. I think that I shall soon be
well now as I am getting over the Jaundice fast
and begin to look like a white man once more.
Father, I want some money. a request I intended
never to make of you after I left Michigan. But it has
been now two months since we were paid and there
is no prospect now, of our being paid again for two
months more. and I shall not be surprised if we are
not paid until we settle down in winter quarters
and I have’nt a cent. So if you can send me twenty
dollars I should be very thankful. Put in a letter
and send it by mail and it will come safe enough.
Charge it to my account and send it at my risk
and if it is lost it will be the first letter I have even
lost and I can afford it. Hoping this will find
you all well I remain as ever
Your Affectionate Son. E.R. H.
Contact us with Questions or Comments